Allegations of meddling by the CIA in Australian politics in the lead-up to the dismissal are covered in a new volume on the history of ASIO.
Details of ASIO's alleged role in the dismissal of Gough Whitlam have been revealed for the first time, drawn from the spy agency's intelligence reports and internal files.
Allegations of meddling by the CIA in Australian politics in the lead-up to the dismissal are also covered in a new volume on the official history of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.
"The Protest Years, the Official History of ASIO, 1963-1975" was launched on Friday at the ASIO headquarters in Canberra before a room of retired agents and former directors, including David Irvine and John Moten.
Three of the "49ers" - officers who joined the agency at its inception in 1949 - attended the launch.
The book chronicles ASIO's involvement in one of the most turbulent periods of Australian history, focusing on counter insurgency and domestic threats emerging in the late 1960s through to the demise of Whitlam in November 1975.
It devotes much to the impact on ASIO of the election of Whitlam in 1972.
"The US intelligence community had been uneasy about the Whitlam Government since its election in December 1972 and ... had expressed concern about the incoming government's policies," author John Blaxland writes.
"Indeed, Nixon and Kissinger's national security study of mid-1974 was instigated as a result of these concerns, yet did not trigger any attempt at underhanded interference in Australia's political process."
By early 1975, however, US concerns had become more intense, and US Embassy officials confided to ASIO "that the maintenance of the ALP Government in power is essential to Soviet planning for this area and their activities in Australia would be tempered by this consideration".
"Warnings of risks to the bilateral intelligence relationship were sounded in June 1975 when ASIO was told that, particularly on operational matters, the relationship `could be up for review'."
But the chapter - ASIO on the Brink - also reveals details of the "false allegations that ASIO was working in response to US intelligence direction and not on behalf of the Australian Government, and that US intelligence was implicated in the dismissal of the Whitlam Government".
Dr Blaxland said the book would leave some people questioning what they thought they knew about Australian history.
"This is an account that is going to raise eyebrows and get people rethinking their understanding of a period they thought they understood," he said.